TNT Diner

Good eats and drinks around Tacoma, Pierce County and South Puget Sound

Category: Store grazing


Store grazing: I scream for green tea ice cream

Lychee ice cream is available at Paldo World in Federal Way.

Today, I found a freezer case with a delicious surprise – ice cream in the flavors of green tea, red bean, plum and lychee. You’ve probably ordered the ice cream at your favorite Japanese or Thai restaurant, but pints can prove difficult to find at a typical neighborhood grocery store.

I found the ice cream today while store grazing at Paldo World, a Korean grocery store just off of 320th and Pacific Highway in Federal Way. And now that it’s sunny (sort of), it’s really ice cream season, right?

For some palates, ice cream made with matcha, or green tea powder, is an acquired taste. Read more »


Store Grazing: Gravity Beer Market in Olympia

OLYMPIA – Jeff and Roma Bert are about as beer geeky as it gets.

Pay a visit to their Olympia beer store, Gravity Beer Market, and you may depart with an earful about oak barrel-aged beers, smoked beers, aged beers, gluten-free beers, beers brewed only in the South Sound, beers to pair with pungent cheese. They’re a font of brew knowledge, those two. Their bottle store, with an inventory of more than 600 craft and imported beers, will be open three years this month. Read more »


Carb loading at Met Market: Gelato, pie and paczki

Paczki doughnuts are a Polish treat and traditionally eaten on Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. The doughnuts are available for a short time at Proctor’s Metropolitan Market. Photo by Janet Jensen/Staff photographer

A News Tribune field trip to Metropolitan Market in Proctor this week yielded an overload of carb finds. Our purchases included a Desserted Island pie, made by the Seattle Pie Company, which is opening the Old Town Pie Shop in March. We also popped by Met Market’s new gelato counter for a pint of pistachio flavored gelato. And our final purchase was a half dozen paczki – a thick, chewy, filled doughnut that is a Fat Tuesday tradition (emphasis on the Fat), and available in the store only for a short time.

Click “more” to read about our finds. Read more »


Store grazing: Tea and spice shop in Puyallup

The wall of salts and specialty peppercorns at Buck's Fifth Avenue in Olympia. Click "more" to read about the store.

I was driving along Meridian to the new Forza wine bar in Puyallup (a story will be coming soon on that) when I saw a sandwich board with “spices” written on it. That’s all I needed as an invitation. The store is Ubiquitous Journey, which I had thought for more than a year was a New Age book store. Nope, they have a half dozen rows of spices, herbs and teas. They call themselves Puyallup’s Spice Merchant. Read more »


Epic beers: What to drink before you die

The selection of microbrews at Gravity Beer Market includes a mix of longtime favorites and constantly changing new selections. Tony Overman/Staff Photographer

I’m working on a story about the Gravity Beer Market in Olympia for our Wednesday SoundLife section. If you haven’t checked out the selection at Gravity, you really should. They have an incredible bottle selection with lots of unusual finds. Just for fun, I asked owners Jeff and Roma Bert for their list of “epic beers.” That is, beers everyone should drink before they die. And their selections are…. Read more »


In search of pierogi: meat-filled deliciousness at Friendly Foods

Friendly Foods on Center Street in Tacoma sells three or four different kinds of pirozhky.

I caught just a brief mention of pierogi on a food show a month or so ago. It was enough to get me intrigued with making that at home.

And so I launched Project Pierogi. Or Project Piroshky. Or Project Piroghi. There are a lot of ways to spell and make meat and vegetable stuffed vessels. Update alert! Until recently, ahem, I knew little about the differences between all these meat-filled vessels. Readers have told me about the difference between pierogi (boiled meat vessels, dumpling like) and piroshky (fried meat vessels, turnover like), and have given me a big list of all the versions of all kinds of Eastern European meat vessels (there are many). A dozen readers have offered me recipes for pierogi, piroshky, piroghi and __ (insert various names and variations there) and I intend to share them with you in a story. I love that when you know little about something, TNT readers line up to tell you what you need to know. And give recipes for it. Lots of recipes. I love recipes. Please send me recipes.

Read more »


In search of harissa: two stores explored

Pork Tenderloin with Spicy Cranberry Glaze and Couscous. Pic by me.

I went in search of harissa this week to make a dish we published in yesterday’s food section – pork tenderloin and couscous with cranberry-harissa sauce. It made for a fine New Year’s Eve dinner last night.

My Tacoma harissa mission took me to two stores, both with international inventory.

My first stop was Daniah’s International Market and Deli on Sixth Avenue (we wrote about Daniah’s about three years ago, but I don’t think we’ve revisited). Right there on the second shelf of the grocery section, I found the can of harissa I needed to make the pork dish. And it was bargain priced at $1.49. Harissa, in case you’ve never tasted it, is a spicy red sauce used in Moroccan and North African cooking.

Even though I had harissa in hand, I was curious about another store where I never have shopped. I was pretty sure they didn’t carry harissa, but thought I would pay a visit to the European Deli Romka on Pacific Avenue anyway. I was right, no sign of harissa there – the inventory is centered pretty strictly on European groceries (Eastern and Central European, but no straying to Morocco). But if Ukrainian and Latvian soda pop and Russian cheese is what you seek, this is the store for you.

Click “read more” for the pork-harissa-cranberry recipe, and to see more about the groceries and takeout food I found at each store.

Read more »